Anyone know which 1970s homebrew CW Keyboard this might be?

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by W7UUU, Sep 28, 2014.

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  1. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I spotted this on a swap meet table this morning. It was actually FREE! So needless
    to say, I jumped on it as there were no other takers for it. I ALWAYS wanted to build
    one of these back in the 1970s but WAY over my skills at the time - or budget for that matter.

    Been searching the QST archives but not yet found the one I think it is - there were
    several over the years for a project like this.

    VERY well built for the most part - but I don't think I can do much to restore it. Many
    of the key springs are long ago shot - the keys are "down" all the time, and don't spring
    back up. After looking at the innards, the keyboard was some surplus piece, and sonic-welded
    plastic throughout so no way to get inside of the keys to fix them in any way.

    It's a shame - but I thought it would be fun to read the original article, as I'm quite certain
    this is built from a magazine project just "has that look".

    Anyway, does anyone by any chance recognize it?

    Dave
    W7UUU
     

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  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Dave, I did zero research on this but that looks like the WB4VVF keyboard keyer design from the 1970s.

    Look that up.
     
  3. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page


    Similar (aren't they all!) but I don't think so. As far as I can tell, the VVF version brought
    the weight knob to the panel and didn't have a memory function - at least from Googling it.

    It's on the bench now - haven't fired it up because I'm lacking the type power cord it needs
    and the pin spacing/location is TIGHT - don't want to Gerry Rig it just yet - plus, even if it
    "works" it can't function - 14 keys are "down" and cannot be fixed as far as I can tell so far

    My primary concern are the keys - and I don't see a way to fix them AT ALL, short of a new
    keyboard. Construction is very decent - I don't believe it was left not working - but unless I can
    find a fix for the keys, it's a shelf display piece now.

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
  4. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Holy cow! It WORKS!! I just soldered on to the pins for the power and threw caution to
    the wind - no sidetone, but there is an LED and I can see it creating letters just fine. Going
    to dig in and see why the sidetone is dead. But very interesting that all the "down keys"
    actually do work, despite having no springiness to them....

    FUN!!

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
  5. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    UPDATE: Fixed the sidetone.... will shoot a video and post a link. SO cool! This will be paired with the HW-16 very soon!!

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
  6. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh what a fun toy.
    I wonder if there is any identification on the PCB as to who designed it.
     
  7. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Nothing I can see. I could swear this was on the cover of a QST around 1975 but
    I just can't find it. I'm just delighted it works!!!! Will soon be paired with the
    HW-16 (in parallel with the HD-10 of course) and become a permanent addition
    to the shack.

    I just shot video of it working once I got the sidetone working.... will post shortly....

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
  8. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good luck finding the issue with the sidetone.
     
  9. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You know Dave, this one rings a bell. I'm just not sure which bell it rang.
    Seem to remember something like this is Ham Radio magazine but don't know where or what issue.
    The ARRL has HR in archives so maybe that'll help.

    Have fun
    73
    Gary
     
  10. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page


    I know - it's familiar, right? The clue is the 1/2 switch and the 256/512 switch.

    I DID GET THE MEMORY WORKING!! I just went in to all the switches in that section and
    resoldered all the switch wires and used Deoxit on the switches - BAM!

    Gonna shoot a video of the memory working shortly....

    WHAT A GREAT FIND!!! Probably one of the best "free" deals ever for me - outside of
    the 10m homebrew transceiver anyway - close second.

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
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